Back Pain After Car Accidents: Neck & Lower Back Injuries

Back pain after an accident is a common symptom experienced by many personal injury victims. One study suggests that the chances of sustaining serious spinal injuries due to a car accident are quite high in today’s society. Factors like quality of driving, poorly designed roads, and low level of manufacturing standards in cars can all be contributors to the high chances of sustaining this type of back injury. Sustaining a back injury from a car accident can cause tremendous amounts of pain. Read further as we look into the prevalent issue of neck or back pain after a car accident, what kind of pain to look out for, and treatment options. You’ll also gain an understanding of what to do if you’re experiencing upper or lower back pain after a car accident.

How A Car Accident Causes Neck and Back Pain

If you’ve ever been involved with a car accident, a sore neck and back may be something you’ve experienced. How does a car accident cause neck and back pain? While driving, your body traverses along at the same speed as the car. In a car accident, your vehicle goes from the original driving speed to zero in a split second.  Since your body is traveling at the same speed as the car, a tremendous amount of force acts upon your body to stop it in place. Whether it’s your seatbelt, seat, steering wheel, or dashboard, the transfer of energy from these objects to your body can cause significant injuries. To make matters worse, your neck and back are both delicate and complicated structures. Some of these structures include your vertebrae, discs, the spinal cord, spinal nerves, and ligaments. Excessive force applied to these structures can result in back or neck pain after a car accident.

Common Pain After Car Accidents

Pain can manifest itself immediately after a car accident. Fractures or lacerations, for instance, can be immediate cause for pain. However, not all back pains are acute. Symptoms can be days, if not weeks, delayed. Common delayed car accident back pain can include:

  • Lower back pain: Typical when a rear-end or side collision occurs. Lower back pain from car accidents can include stiffness, shooting pain while sitting, and other chronic lower back pain.
  • Whiplash-related pain: Whiplash is another common cause of neck and upper back pain after an accident. The forward and backward movement of the neck can cause damage to the bone structures and soft tissues. Headaches, shoulder pain, and fatigue are other symptoms related to whiplash.
  • Discogenic pain: Pains relating to spinal injuries are known as discogenic pain. This type of pain is a result of damages done to the cartilage discs separating the bones in your spine. Numbness, tingling, shooting pain, or pain that worsens when doing physical activities can all be indications of discogenic pains.

Types of Treatment

The types of treatment for back pain after an accident will vary based on the nature of your injury. Your doctor may diagnose your injury through a series of blood tests, x-rays, MRIs, bone scans, or CT scans to determine the severity and prescribe an appropriate treatment. Some common types of treatment may include:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers may help in dealing with pain. Your doctor may also prescribe other medications such as muscle relaxants, narcotics, antidepressants, and even cortisone injections.
  • Physical therapy: A physical therapist will work with you through exercises to regain strength, flexibility, and reduce pain.
  • Surgery: In more severe cases, such as structural damage with the back or neck, surgery may be necessary.
  • Other alternative treatments: Alternative treatments to help alleviate pain may include massage, chiropractic sessions, acupuncture, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).

Back Pain After Accident: What to Do

There are three things you should do if you feel back pain after an accident:

  1. Seek medical attention: Visit your doctor at the outset of any symptoms or pain. As mentioned, pain can be delayed, so even if you notice something is off, get it checked out. Seeking compensation for your injuries will also be easier if you seek medical attention immediately.
  2. Detail all records: Start gathering details and evidence of your car accident. Take plenty of photos of the accident itself as well as the surrounding areas. Photos of your injuries or where you feel pain could also help you both when you consult with your doctor and in your insurance claims.
  3. Seek legal advice: Always seek legal advice right after an accident. Your legal representative will guide you through the proper procedures and protocols. The Las Vegas car accident attorney team at Valiente Mott can advise you on what appropriate information should be conveyed to the other party or the legal authorities.

Don’t Ignore Your Injuries

One of the most common mistakes victims make after a car accident is ignoring their injuries. You may brush it off as merely a minor symptom you’ll fight through. However, as discussed, back and neck symptoms can often be delayed. Making claims to injuries long after the event may weaken your chances of receiving compensation. Insurance companies are not in the business to hand out fair compensation to personal injury victims. They will scrutinize every claim you make after an accident. If you waited a week or longer after the accident, the insurance company will claim your injuries were unrelated to the accident. Even if you don’t feel any pain right after a car crash, it still might be a good idea to see a doctor. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting a physical examination right away.

Valiente Mott

If you were injured or are experiencing severe back pain after a car accident, you will need experienced legal counsel. The Las Vegas personal injury attorney experts at Valiente Mott can provide legal advice on how to deal with insurance companies, lawsuits, and other legal proceedings. We work hard to get you the maximum compensation possible, while you focus on your recovery. Contact us today for your free consultation! 

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